Over a dozen shoppers perused the aisles of an unstaffed Dollar Tree store on Labor Day after a door lock malfunctioned. The lights were on and shopping music was being piped in, but there was nobody at the registers, which led a suspicious customer to call the authorities. [seattlepi.com]


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  1. homerjay says:

    How does a door lock ‘malfunction?’ Its either locked or its not.

  2. swalve says:

    When I worked at a fast food place, the asinine things people would do were astounding. We were in the middle of a rebuild. The new building was half-done, and the old building was being demolished. Literally, the machines were in the process of destroying the building. People were walking up, ducking through the construction fence and wanting to get something to eat. Kudos for loyalty, and all, but come on.

    Same thing would happen later while the new building was being completed. There is NO parking lot, no signs, no kitchen, no seats, construction debris everywhere; and they were in there looking for their filet-o-fish and sanka.

  3. Nick says:

    @homerjay: It must be like a wardrobe “malfunction”.

  4. Buran says:

    @swalve: That’s silly … but in this case, I can see why people would be confused. Door not locked, lights on, muzak on. Initially, they likely thought the cashier was on break or something.

  5. embean says:

    @homerjay: The locks were probably magnetic, so there is a chance they can malfunction. Many places leave lights on at night for some reason (probably so the cameras can see stuff). Leaving the music on is weird though…

  6. homerjay says:

    @embean: You ever seen the front door of ANYPLACE locked magnetically? Nevermind the fact that its one of the most discounty of discount retailers.

  7. thepounder says:

    Sounds almost like an episode of My Name Is Earl…

    Were people found sleeping in the store also? That’d be great.

  8. CamilleR says:

    At the store I work at, the music is automatic. We’re not supposed to turn the unit off since it needs to connect to the music service to download updates. It stops playing at some point, but starts up again a few hours before we open.

  9. mrmysterious says:

    The better question is why there are so many people going to a dollar store on Labor Day. Don’t people have families? Or barbecues to go to?

  10. nursetim says:

    I couldn’t imagine a store using magnetic locks. The nursing home I work at has magnetic locks on most of the doors, but they don’t work if the power goes out, even though we have a back up generator.

  11. nhoj1962 says:

    What isn’t mentioned is if any of those people took anything before the one diligent person called authorities. If anyone did take anything then I geuss they fall into that “frugal but lacking any morals whatsoever” category more commonly called thief or felon.

  12. jrdnjstn78 says:

    Why would you want to steal from the dollar store anyway (much less buy anything). Most of the stuff they have is cheap crap anyways.

  13. XTC46 says:

    At a store I worked at everything was on a time, Lights, Phone system, Music, Door Locks, etc. The only thing that wasnt was the big metal gates that dropped in front of the door. It wasn’t rare that the corporate office would mess up and forget it was a holiday, or that we had a special event and not reset the timers or switch it to manual so our phones would stop ringing, or the doors would stop working for a little bit.

  14. Craig says:

    Shoppers looted the store before police arrived. Total damages are estimated at $27.73.

  15. edwu says:

    this sounds like a great premise for a horror movie … once the unsuspecting shoppers are lured into the store the doors will look behind them and mayhem will ensue …

    and of course it will only show at the dollar show (do they even have those movie theatres anymore??)

    @Craig: funny!

  16. edwu says:


  17. gibsonic says:

    for anyone that stole anything they will likely get lead poisoning from whatever they stole since probably 99.9% of the crap in a dollar store is made in China.

  18. Indecision says:

    @nursetim: “The nursing home I work at has magnetic locks on most of the doors, but they don’t work if the power goes out…”

    Easily solvable. Magnetic locks can either “fail safe,” meaning in a power loss they stay locked, or “fail open,” meaning they unlock when power is lost.

    Since the second is bad for security, I’m assuming the locks on a store would fail safe. So, you just back it up with a key lock as well. If both are locked, the door cannot be opened. But only one needs to be unlocked for the door to open. Then, in a power loss, the store is locked down (though likely openable from inside without a key, for safe egress).

    Still, it only takes a few hundred pounds of force to pop open most maglocks, so I can’t imagine them being used to secure the outside door of a retail store. Sounds like someone forgot to shut the security gate.